Economic Equality


SEM learners took a picture with Representative James Clyburn


On Thursday, May 12, a group of our learners attended the Economic Equality Conference on Capitol Hill at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation. The conference focused on economic, racial and gender inequality, hunger, and poverty in the local DC area, as well as a session focusing on inequality issues across the country.

Members of Congress were featured, including major Presidential campaign representatives from both parties, and nationally recognized experts on hunger and poverty.

Our learners were actively involved in the discussion, sharing their insight into some of the issues our community faces, and also asking the Presidential campaign representatives engaging questions.

“People talk all of the time about housing, we need affordable housing, how are you going to make that happen?” asked SEM learner, Rena Wright.

One of the Presidential candidates answered her question, but Rena figured it to be a vague response. Rena then followed up her question by asking, “No, how are you going to actually put an effort into us and try to find us housing?” Rena’s questions delighted the audience, which included other adult learners, and individuals who earn low-incomes.

Seemingly surprised at Rena’s directness, the candidate responded by saying, “That’s a great question, I think creating an environment in which people have a job and an opportunity has to be the cornerstone of what we’re talking about, because you cannot afford a house if you don’t have the resources in order to make that investment.”

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